Organization Definition – Meaning And Concept

Definition of Organization

An organization is a group of people who work together in order to achieve common organizational goals. In an organization, there is a hierarchy of human relationships. The purpose of this hierarchy is to achieve organizational goals by dividing work among the employees of the organization.

The following are a few definitions of “Organization” provided by different writers.

According to Louis Allen, an organization is a type of process in which work is identified, defined and grouped together in order to delegate authority and responsibility to designated people. This is done so that people part of an organization work more effectively in order to achieve the common organizational objectives. In an organization, the work is clearly defined for each, and every person part of the organization and each person has fixed authority and responsibility.

Oliver Sheldon defines an organization as a process of combining work performed by each individual and group of people by making the use of necessary facilities required for its execution and designated duties are performed by making the use of systematic, efficient, coordinated, and efficient efforts of each individual part of the organization.  An organization makes sure that resources available in the organization are utilized efficiently, and work is performed within the defined time duration by each individual who is assigned the work.

C.H. Northcott defines an organization as “an arrangement where tasks or work is assigned to people (Men and women) so that their individual efforts can be used to achieve the goal for which they have all been brought together”. He also says that organization means bringing the coordination among the activities of individuals part of an organization so that enterprise goals can be attained.

Meaning of Organization

Meaning of Organization

We all have been a part of an organization at one point or another. Most of us have worked in an organization or are still a part of an organization, and if not, then the family is the best example of an organization. The use of the term organization is so wide that sometimes people get confused with its actual meaning.

In an organization, different people work together and try to achieve one common organizational goal by making the effective use of resources available. An organization is made by a group of people working together and performing different duties assigned to them.

An organization can be of different types. It can be a temporary group of people who came together to perform a short-term task. For example, when a group of random people decides to clean the shores of a beach in order to enhance the beauty of the beach. On the other hand, it can be a carefully selected group of people who are hired in order to perform long-term tasks.

For example, when an NGO is established to stop poverty in a country or an organization is formed to produce goods to sell so that certain needs of customers can be satisfied.

Concepts of organization

There are mainly two concepts of organization.

1. Static Concept

As per the static concept of an organization, an organization is an entity or a structure or a network of specified relationships. The static concept of organization defines organization as a group of people where different people are bound together by a formal relationship to achieve common organizational goals.

As per the static concept of the organization, the emphasis is given on the role and position of a person and not on an individual.

2. Dynamic Concept

As per the dynamic concept of organization, an organization can be defined as a process of ongoing activity. The dynamic concept of an organization is concerned with identifying activities that are necessary to achieve a common goal and grouping them together in order to assign them to individuals. Under the dynamic concept, an organization is an open adaptive system and not a closed system.

In contrast to the static concept of organization, dynamic concept stresses on individuals who are part of the organization and an organization is considered as a continuous process.


Characteristics of an organization

The term “organization” has various explanations, and different authors elaborate it in different ways. However, one of the most common methods of defining an organization is that it is a collection of people who are grouped together to perform various activities in order to achieve a common goal.

Hence, an organization has different characteristics. Let us learn about these characteristics one by one.

1. Well-defined authority and responsibilities

As we learned earlier that an organization is formed of a group of people. All of these people are arranged in a hierarchy and have well-defined authorities and responsibilities that they are required to fulfill.

The hierarchy either begins from the top or from the center from where the chain of positions begins and stretches throughout the organization.  The hierarchy in the organization shows the flow of information in the organization and the pattern of relationships between different positions.

2. Distribution or division of work

An organization as a whole is responsible for performing a complete task. In the first step, the work is divided in the form of different activities and functions. Then the similar activities are grouped together and assigned to an individual who is efficient in accomplishing the task.

In this way, division of work takes place among the labors and work is completed in much lesser time. The organization plays an important role in assigning work to people who are meant to perform that work.

3. Cooperative relationships

An organization consists of various members. Each member plays a different role in the organization. An organization helps in creating cooperative relationships among the different members of the organization.

In order to have a cooperative relationship, it is necessary that there are at least two or more people. With the help of the organization, meaningful relationships are created among the different members.

The relationship is created both in vertical as well as horizontal directions in the various departments of an organization. The structure is defined in such a way so that each member gets well-defined authorities and responsibilities and gets inspired to perform the work assigned to them.

4. Coordination

Coordination among the members of an organization is one of the most important characteristics of an organization. It is very important to have coordination among the different members and different departments of an organization. It helps in creating harmony among the different departments and helps in avoiding duplication and delay of work.

Moreover, one task is divided between different departments. Therefore, these tasks depend on one another. If members of different departments are not coordinated, then the performance of all segments of departments will severely get affected.

5. Common goals

Another important characteristic that binds different members of an organization is a common goal. An organization is formed to achieve that common goal. These goals are also referred to as enterprise goals or business goals. An organization is structured in such a way so that a common goal can be adequately accomplished.

Process of Organization

Process of Organization

So far, we have learnt that an organization is formed only to achieve a common organizational goal. An organization lasts as long as the goal is not met. The following are the steps involved in the process of an organization. Let us learn about them.

Step 1. To identify and classify the activities of the organization.

Step 2. Grouping alike activities and assigning them to different departments.

Step 3. Assigning authority and responsibilities to different members.

Step 4. Developing relationships between different members of an organization.

Step 5. Developing policies for proper coordination among the people working at different levels and creating a clear line of supervision.

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